Sunday, May 6, 2007

Channing Tatum's MovieJungle.com Interview

I found this interesting Channing Tatum interview from MovieJungle.com where, among other things, we learn about Channing's upcoming roles, whether he actually attended military school, what his favorite subject was in school, what he likes to do in his spare time, and what he likes to do to relax.

Channing Tatum gives us a thumbs up! Image Copyright©
Movie Jungle International, INC. All Rights Reserved.

Born on April 26 th, 1980 in Cullman, Alabama, Channing Tatum’s first appearance on screen was in TV’s “CSI: Miami.” He later made his big screen debut in the praised 2005 basketball drama “Coach Carter” starring Samuel L. Jackson. 2005 was a busy year for the energetic young actor who followed up with “Supercross,” contributed to the r-rated Anne Hathaway starrer “Havoc” and appeared briefly in War of the Worlds in a church scene.

This year Channing starred along with Amanda Bynes in the romantic comedy “She’s the Man” and received further recognition at the Sundance Film Festival this year when playing Antonio in Dito Montiel’s award winner of the Special Jury Prize - “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints.”

The model for over two years enters the room and enthusiastically shouts “What’s Up!” A very refreshing entrance from a content, good looking young man filled with tons of energy and personality who looks set for a very bright future.

He talks a little about QuinceaƱera’s when he was growing up and their influence on him and how he rented “Breakin’” and “ Beat Street,” “put down some cardboard in the garage” and tried breakdancing.

He initiates the “Step Up” chat with “It was tough, Jenna’s been dancing her whole life but I had never…I couldn’t even count music, I had no idea they could count it like dance, no clue. So doing anything but dancing, I get distracted! So that was really strange, but it was fun though, we got to have three weeks of preparation for it which made us pretty ready (stretching out the r “rrrr”) for the most part. One of the days right before we started the big finale, we trained for three and a half weeks on that big finale and it was like a four minute dance. We hadn’t rehearsed it while we were shooting it. It got to the day before we started shooting it and I had forgotten the majority of it and I was panicking and thinking “I’ve just ruined this movie because I wasn’t practicing.” We didn’t even think about it, we were just thinking about the movie and acting and rehearsing and writing the movie as you go and stuff. I think we got it pretty good.”

Channing’s asked about the transition from modeling to acting – “It’s so much more filling. You know modeling is not good, you know it was fun, you got to travel a lot but you don’t really get to put any of yourself into it. You put the clothes they tell you to out on and then get whatever look that they want and that’s pretty much it. But I’m not saying anything bad about because it pretty much afforded me the opportunity to go after something that I’ve found out that I’m infatuated with and that I love. It’s opened doors for me. Thank God my genetics my parents gave me have afforded me those opportunities so I never say that it was an awful experience. Some models say “I hate modeling.”

The room laughs when comparing Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson starrer “Zoolander” to modeling. Channing jumps right in with “Well actually, they give you Zoolander as soon as you become a model and they give it to you as your bible. As soon as you get there they say “Here you go, learn it well!”

So what was your look?

“Oh my look, well we all thought we had Blue Steel. We kind of all called it Blue Steel for the most part because he was the man.” *more laughter*

He talks about identifying with the character of Tyler Gage “Except for being a foster kid, Tyler was pretty much me. I had absolutely no idea of what I wanted to do. As soon as I came back from playing ball I had no idea of what I wanted to do. I tried going back to school, it wasn’t something I even understood why I was going. “I don’t understand why I’m in this class, I don’t want to do anything in math. I know the basics that’s all I really want.” Now when I get out I kind of understand why you have to do that.”

He’s asked what’ next – “What I’d like to do next? Probably history involved. I love history, it was my favorite subject in school because it was just stories you know? But the real life stories are the best ones. You can write all the fiction you want to but the real ones are always the best.”

Channing briefly in thought. Image Copyright©
Movie Jungle International, INC. All Rights Reserved.

Are you still going out looking for the roles or are people coming to you now?

“They’re starting to role in. The roles that you really want aren’t been given. The thing that you actually want is at a level you still have to work for. And that’s the way I like it, you don’t ever just want to do just what’s given to you because....That’s what I think the problem with a lot of huge actors is, they don’t audition anymore. So they get given these roles and there’s probably…I would never want that. I would never want to be just given a role when someone else can play it better. I know it’s weird to say that but I think I’m always going to end up auditioning because in auditioning you find out so much about the character.” He moves on to talk about success and failures of movies and the questions as to why they crash or sky rocket - “We don’t really know why they don’t work and why they do work. The directors say it best with saying there are so many ways that a movie can go wrong, and when it works out it is sweeeet! I think Sydney Pollack said that, it was just genius. There are so many ways that a movie can go wrong and there’s very few things that can go really right and when it does it’s just unbelievable.

Can you talk about the Untitled Kimberly Peirce project?

“Yes, it’s a really, really heavy movie. She’s no joke, she’s no joke at all. She knows exactly what she wants and that’s why she hasn’t done a movie in six years. It’s untitled but more than likely will be called “Stop-Loss” and “Stop-Loss” is a clause in every soldier’s contract that in time of war, the government reserves the right to renew the contract or send you back in time of war. These guys get back, they think their contract is going to be up and they go back to get their papers and get informed that they’re being sent out. Then some of them come back and invest some of the movie that they’ve made in these things. This guy invests all his money in a gas station, you know like a truck stop. And he invests all his money and they send him back. I just heard about this on the news the other day that a guy went AWOL. He goes in to take his wife, she pregnant and in labor, he takes her to the hospital and they arrest him on the spot. He doesn’t even get to sit with his wife and watch as she goes through labor.”

Channing Tatum. Image Copyright©
Movie Jungle International, INC. All Rights Reserved.

Did you go to military school?

“I did not go to military school. I had an option either a military school or a private school. I don’t know how to get that out of the information that’s out there.”

He’s asked how he got the part for “Step Up”

“It was an acting audition as well as a dancing audition. It was very open dialogue between me and Anne as far as what she was looking for and what she needed from me. Then I was shooting to audition girls. The girls would come in and I would read with them as well. That was an experience and a half, just seeing all these girls come in and every one was different. And Jenna just stood out, she was Nora by far. There was no question.”

You’ve done so much, what exactly do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

“Read! I read an incredible amount of scripts, mystery books. I watch the news but it depresses me so I cannot watch it. I love The Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.”

So you get some good R&R (rest and relaxation for those unfamiliar)

“Yeah, I don’t really go out. I might go to a bar with a friend or something and hammer back a bunch of different stories.”

Someone pipes up “A Pint” and looks at me as if South Africa is supposed to relate to a pint more than anyone else. Perhaps they thought I was British at first?

I play along and throw in an Ausie accent to completely throw them off track and say “Ah, with your mates?” Channing says “Where in Australia are you from?” “I’m from South Africa so we don’t throw shrimp on the ba’arbie.”

Turns out he’s been to South Africa and loved it. “Really? I’ve been to South Africa, Capetown…it’s beautiful there.”

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